“Captain America: Civil War” #ConTENders

So I’m not going to lie here, Captain America: Civil War was a bit of a letdown. I suppose I didn’t expect it to be the best film in the series, and certainly of the past decade (I’m looking at you Michael Campbell), but I still enjoyed the film quite a bit.

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Civil War has some issues, namely the notion of taking your heroes and pitting them against each other results in a sadder and more serious movie overall. Don’t get me wrong, it definitiely isn’t goth-fest Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it’s no The Avengers or Captain America: The Winter Soldier either.

The idea is a clever one: using friends with strong moral beliefs and turning them against each one another to create conflict. And the film does so rather handily. The action is turned up as high as it can go… when it happens. Still, even the dramatic scenes have some heft as it’s just as exciting to watch two superheroes talk about responsibility and owning up to one’s mistakes as it was to watch two scientists talk science stuff.

The film has a bell curve of action. There are a few quality action scenes up front, followed by the mack daddy in the middle, and a well-done action scene at the end. But as expected with a Marvel film, the villain is horribly underutilized and underwritten. Zemo was able to have some great character motivation (for a change), but he ultimately gets lost in the shuffle between good… and good; hero vs hero.

This truly was The Avengers 2.5, but it surely felt more like a proper sequel to the Captain America trilogy. Much like the original Star Wars trilogy was about father and son loaded with other characters and set pieces surrounding it, Civil War is about brothers… and other characters and set pieces surrounding it. Bucky and Steve go back seventy plus years and end up at the center of this entire film. I was worried that their story would get drowned out by the rest of the film surrounding it, but it was able to keep its head above water and play out with ample room.

The best parts of the film were some of the secondary characters. Spider-Man was the best part of the film, and he’s only in it for a handful of scenes. But that shouldn’t detract from the quality work Chadwick Boseman displays as T’Challa (Prince of Wakanda himself), the Black Panther. His scenes both in and out of costume were some of the brightest, leaving me wanting more of the Cat.

Vision and Scarlett Witch surely continued their “forbidden” love affair. Human and Machine!! Dear God, what have we come to! They too had some interesting topics on what it meant to be feared by others.

Mr. Paul Rudd himself makes a splash in a big way, considering he’s already had his own movie and has to share screen time with the other aforementioned animal superheroes. You will love him just as much as you did in Ant-Man.

In short, Civil War won’t win any awards but it certainly does prove that given a truly powerful villain (*cough*Thanos*cough), The Russo Brothers will make one hell of an Avengers movie in Infinity War Parts 1 and 2.

As for where this movie will fall on my Top 10 of 2016? Who knows (it may even fall off altogether), only time will tell– we still have seven months left.


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)

Keep up to date with which films may make my Top 10 of 2016 by clicking here.

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